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College preparation stresses students

As application dates loom and transcripts finalize, the stress and worries of preparing for college begin to weigh on the minds of high school students. Pressure to do well and be accepted to prestigious schools can overwhelm them as they prepare for their senior year.

The class of 2009 remains the largest campus graduating class ever and students may have some competition for admission. Molly Sargent, vice principal, believes they need to start planning ahead and prepare early. However she says that this process should not begin during high school years.

?I think that students should start preparing for college in the seventh grade,? Sargent said. ?It may sound ridiculous, but it is somewhat of a domino affect when following a route through high school. They should start planning ahead for classes to take, such as honor classes.?

Josh Hopper, ’12, believes that college preparation should start sometime after freshman year, when he receives information from colleges.

?I have not started thinking about college planning yet,? Hopper said, ?but once I start receiving something from colleges I will. But I think freshman year is too early to start preparing for college and junior year is probably too late.?

Although some have not started their college planning, Stephen Prince, ’09, has already been accepted to California State University, Fresno.

?To prepare for college, I took the SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test], applied early and studied,? Prince said. ?It [the process] was hard, but it’s worth it because I didn’t expect to get accepted.”

Sargent maintains three priorities for students seeking to apply: the right classes to take (honors, AP, community college classes), standardized test scores (SAT, PSAT) and GPA (weighted, unweighted, and class rank).

A few more examples of what colleges look for during admission include: activities, uniqueness and recommendations from high school guidance counselor and teachers.

When undergraduates prepare for college, Sargent believes parents should have a role in this decision with their son or daughter.

?Parents should encourage them [their kids] to take demanding classes or courses,? Sargent said. ?It is most important to insure that their child is not overloaded with classes.?

With senior year coming soon, junior Alyssa Quenzer finds choosing which college to go to one of the hardest decisions to make.

?It’s really confusing when I think about what job I would like to work at when I’m older,? Quenzer said. ?There are just so many possibilities and I’m just seeing what interests me. But in high school, I just have to persevere and get good grades.?

As many students ask Sargent questions regarding the cost, whether or not it is a good college or how difficult is it to get accepted, Sargent advises three more things to look for when deciding.

?It [the college] should be selective in admission processes,? Sargent said, ?it should have lots of Ph.D.s and good instructors. Also, make sure that the college supports quality on campus life, such as safe and nice dorms.?

Sargent believes the aspect of helping students prepare is the main purpose for college planning.

?We are very concerned that students are able to get the best experience available,? Sargent said. ?We want the kids to get into the colleges they want to go to.?

For more information, e-mail Sargent or call her at 559-299-1695, ext. 126. Transcripts are available in the high school office from Yoko Kilbourne. Those who participate in athletics should register at the start of senior year with the NCAA Clearinghouse and send SAT 1 scores to NCAA-Code 9999.

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  • Z

    Zach CamdenAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I like how my wig is flying in the air! Haha

    It was great to be able to support the girls’ basketball team at Selland. I’m glad they finally won it this year! Go girls!

  • S

    Stephen GrimesAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    This is such an epic photo! Zach is awesome.

  • P

    Pamela MartensAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Thank you, Zach! Great job!

  • R

    Ryan NeufeldAug 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Zach is amazing! What a beast!!